Students Empowering Students Through Peer Mentorship: An Untapped Resource

  • Megan D'Souza New graduand from BN program at University of Calgary
  • Carla Ferreira Instructor at University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing
Keywords: Higher Education, Peer Mentorship, Teaching and Learning, Students, Education, Nursing


Peer mentoring (PM) builds connections and promotes academic excellence by supporting students transitioning into higher education (Carragher & McGaughey, 2016). PM programs in nursing has also been reported to nurture nursing students’ professional identities (Lombardo, Wong, Sanzone, Filion, & Tsimicalis, 2017). Nursing students help their peers understand, critique, and resolve professional identity questions that arise throughout their undergraduate preparation (Price, 2009)..While a current PM committee within a Faculty of Nursing has successfully engaged the student body, it remains to be an untapped resource.  Students with similar experiences can offer support regarding academics and provide important insight regarding the demands of the profession.

An opportunity exists for peer mentors, mentees, and faculty members to become co-inquirers in exploring the nature of nursing and influence teaching and learning experiences in higher education. With students as drivers, PM has the potential to create a self-sustaining environment where strengthened and genuine student-teacher connections are privileged.

Author Biographies

Megan D'Souza, New graduand from BN program at University of Calgary

New Alumni (BN 2018), University of Calgary

Registered Nurse from the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary 

Carla Ferreira, Instructor at University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing

Instructor Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary 



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Carragher, J., & McGaughey, J. (2016). The effectiveness of peer mentoring in promoting a positive transition to higher education for first-year undergraduate students: A mixed methods systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 5(1), 68. doi:10.1186/s13643- 016-0245-1

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Conference Theme: Students as Drivers